Is the PR industry moving from ‘media management’ to ‘reputation management’?

It appears it’s not just the media outlets which have had their fingers burnt following the Leveson enquiry. The PR industry is doing some soul searching as well. Some in the industry have raised concerns that PR operators are being tarred with the same ‘lack of trust’ brush as the media. According to The Red Consultancy MD Andrew Baiden, ‘It’s a crisis and should be treated like one.’ Because of increased scrutiny, agencies are having to ensure that the information they put out is double checked and triple checked. Cohn & Wolfe UK CEO Scott Wilson said these concerns were building into a ‘watermark for scrutiny’ over comms. But, according to GolinHarris European MD Matt Neale, this shift in emphasis does not mean PR is any less influential: ‘Our industry needs to move from “I know a guy on the news desk”, to “let us manage your brand’s reputation across all media channels”.’

Isn’t that what they were meant to be doing all along?